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Media Banned From Publishing Any Statement Relating To Bandh, Strike, Rallies

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Case Law: Registrar General v. State of Meghalaya, 2015 SCC OnLine Megh 55

The Meghalaya High Court directed the Government to issue notice to all shops and business establishments especially the medical shops, hotels and taxi owners as to why their licences shall not be cancelled for staying away from their lawful avocation and for keeping their establishments closed despite repeated Press Release/Communiqué of assurance issued by the State Government that they shall be provided adequate protection on their place of occupation/business.

The Court noted that on account of 48 hours bandh in the State by the organisation namely “Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council” (HNLC) which is said to have been banned as unlawful association by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, Delhi the even tempo of otherwise peaceful public life has been badly disturbed. The Court relied on full bench decision in the case of Bharat Kumar K Palicha v. State of Kerala 1997 SCC OnLine Ker 134which was upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Communist Party of India (M) v. Bharat Kumar (1998) 1 SCC 201 and stated that “bandh” violates the fundamental rights of common citizens as guaranteed in Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India and that the political parties and organizations can be asked to recoup the loss and damages suffered by the citizens of their lives and private properties, and by the Government in the case of damage to public properties. The Court further stated that the essential services shall always remain available in all eventualities, and in case of necessity, the District Administration can be authorized to call Para military force to deal with the situation.

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